To be or not to be Social? That is the question

When I first started working in Social Media, it was still an option to be or not to be social. Some companies chose to remain off the radar in social media (and might have suffered, let’s remember the Toyota recall crisis) and others like Starbucks, went all out on social and offered any possible fun thing to do to their customers. Nowadays, it is no longer an option not to be on social media. Although some have tried (and failed) to take down Facebook or offer another alternative, like Ello, it has become an apparent truth, in the last year, that social media, and its advertising, are here to stay and have become an important part of any online strategy.

Last year, I wrote an article about what to prepare when doing your first social audit. Since then, I have worked with different clients in different industries and one thing constantly came up: Managers all want to do the audit and recognize its value but have no time to look over competitor accounts and the hundreds of posts that are being published and shared. Another thing that became obvious was that a social media audit cannot only be done once at the beginning but should be part of a strategy and an exercise that is done throughout the year.

So, instead of going through the steps again, I have some new advice and reasons why you should follow it!


Top Tip of the Day (and only one today):


seek help to do it right!

Now, here are the top 3 reasons why you should choose that route:

 The landscape is always changing

My number one tip is always to look at the competition and what they are doing when starting your social media audit. The only difference that I am adding in now is that your competition is not stupid and will also be adapting their strategy. I have often seen a competitor that wasn’t doing much on social turn it around almost overnight and you feel that by the time you give your report, the information in it is just not right anymore. Now, of course you cannot predict what your social landscape will look like but when dealing with a Social Media Consultant, they have been on the networks for a while and can pick up on certain trends or know what to look for when looking at your competitors. They can provide you with social media best practices based on what your competition is doing right and could be doing better or that could help you stand out from the crowd. And as a professional, even after the first look, you keep a close watch on the accounts you’ve been auditing to see if there are any surprising turn of events or a piece of content that went viral. Indeed, I spend my days on social networks, following the news, looking for the trends and managing my communities. Those many hours spent online give you a certain edge and a different perspective or approach when looking at a new landscape for a client. As a business owner, you are constantly in your industry and not always able to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes and compare it to other industries and their best practices.

 Data, data and some more data


We live in a world where every click, post or word can be analyzed and compared. We have so much data available to us that we honestly don’t know what to do with it. In a recent article, Vala Afshar from Salesforce, was stating that companies were analyzing less than 1% of the data available to them. In that same article, he also quoted that 90% of the world data was created in the last 12 months. All in all, you could try to look at your Google Analytics on your own and interprete the many conclusions that can be extracted but you might want to make sure you still have someone running your business in the meantime because it might take a while and you might not be able to stop once you’ve started. The advantage of finding an agency like PROSAR to help you not be too overwhelmed is that they will have an entire team looking at different sets of data and making it all a little more accessible to you. I always like to say that they translate all the data into human terms!

 There is so much that you can do

Finally, one of the main reasons why you should be on social and seek help for your audit is because there are so many options available to you and so much that you can do. Before, it was easy. Whatever would come up in the audit, you could almost predict that there would be some blog posts recommended, social media accounts being opened and a first step into the world of social. In that sense, the audit would help you determine the best topics for your client’s audience to meet their goals. But now, you could be looking at blogs, forums, moving images, videos, webinars, podcasts, soundbits, social media posts, advertising, influencers, lookalike targetting and the list goes on.

So how can you know what’s best? Or what will work? Here is where the perfect PROSAR solution can be a great start. We will work with you to better understand your industry and explain to you what is going on in your own personal social media landscape. You will be involved every step of the way so that the final result is a plan that takes into account your own business goals and has traits of your own personal flair. Because no matter what, on social, the best way to go is to produce content that is true to you and your company values. And we will help you get there!

Only 8% of Sales Leaders Prioritize Social Sales [New Data]

For seven years now, HubSpot has been polling business to get a sense of where is the State of Inbound: how prevalent is Inbound Marketing, how is business implementing it, what challenges are they facing, and how well is it working for them. Last year, HubSpot added salespeople to the survey in order to get a fuller picture of Inbound’s affect on both marketing and sales. This not only provides greater detail into the use and relevance of Inbound, it makes the report especially valuable with insight into the implementation and ROI of such tactics. One of the greatest impacts that I have witnessed in the process of assisting firms with integrating inbound tactics is the alignment of marketing and sales and ensuing collaboration between these (often divided) departments.

Overall, Inbound Marketing is gaining tremendous speed as more organizations (small, large and even non-profits) successfully adopt such a strategy. The survey found that three out of four marketers, from around the globe, have more faith in an inbound approach than outbound tactics. In fact, Inbound tactics are three times more likely to generate higher ROI. None of this is surprising to any experienced marketer who has been working with both inbound and traditional marketing tactics.

However, one of the findings that I found surprising is that social sales is still a relatively low priority for companies in 2015. For years we’ve witnessed the continued explosion of social media for private use, and how many companies (large and small) have leveraged social media networks to position or build their brand, extend their reach, engage with key markets and even grow trials and sales for products. With this track record I expected small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to start embracing social media and put more effort and resources into its development.

HubSPot_PROSAR: Sales priorities for busines in 2015

I certainly appreciate that closing more sales and developing an efficient sales funnel are top priorities, they are after all the lifeblood of any organization. But, if prospecting continues to be an issue for companies, sourcing more leads via social selling and using the networks to nurture these leads must be part of the -solution. (For some insight into effective use of social media on an ongoing basis, check out this article by Dave Auten: Social Media Marketing – How Much Time Per Day?)

HubSpot_PROSAR: Challenges faced by saes teams.

Perhaps it is an indication that we are still in relatively early years of businesses’ strategic use of social media and other inbound tactics. HubSpot was one of the pioneers and now is a leader in the field, but new tools and marketing automation software are still being introduced at a rapid pace and adoption rates are just starting to catch up. So it is natural that, despite their wish list, organizations must prioritize their needs. There are fundamental and structural requirements that need to addressed first, before some of the implementation and prospecting processes can be refined.

Interestingly, when the State of Inbound 2015 survey probed deeper, all levels of the organization were not totally in alignment. This graph shows how Executive and VP/Director levels placed a higher priority on social selling than middle management and salespeople. This could symbolize that those at the top are starting to understand the potential value of social selling, and that some top-down influence may initiate more organizational involvement in social media. Perhaps next year’s report will shed some light on that trend and its effectiveness.

HubSpot_PROSAR: Sales priorities detail for 2015

State of Inbound 2015 Survey — Quick Facts:

  • Conducted in June and July 2015
  • 3,957 respondents (only one-third have an affiliation with HubSpot)
  • B2B, B2C and non-profits represented
  • 52% earn less than $1M and approx 4% earn over $500M
  • 48% have fewer than 10 employees and 6% have more than 1,000
  • Over 150 countries represented

Traditional Tweeting: The Merging of Traditional and SocialChannels

Marketers have long known advertising is no longer a one-way street. The social world has meshed with the so-called “real world,” with text conversations acting as bridges between in person meetings. However, in advertising, we still treat “social” and “traditional” as two separate channels.

Recent data indicates that the bridge between traditional and social has spread— at least when Twitter and TV is concerned. This means content strategies might be changing in the very near future to reflect consumers’ multiple screen habits.

In a world where personal video recorders, Netflix, and streaming are commonplace, it can be easy to think that TV is on rocky ground. However, there’s still nothing quite like watching an event the day it airs and talking about it with your friends. Twitter makes these conversations easy and real time, providing brands with a unique opportunity to engage with an influential audience.

Hashtag integration with live shows is slowly becoming commonplace. This season of So You Think You Can Dancedecided to give Twitter the power to save two dancers out of the bottom six, with the judges saving another two.Face Off, a competition reality show based around special effects makeup, has Twitter handles for the contestants. TLC often airs repeats of their programs with added Twitter commentary to show viewers’ reactions.

So what does this mean for brands? A lot, actually.

According to Adweek, 19% of people will consider trying a brand that engaged with them around a TV program. On top of this, 4 of 5 users active during primetime hours mention brands in their tweets.

Instead of simply having to rely on catchy commercials and jingles to gain traction, brands can now have genuine engagement between viewers around TV shows. Social media allows for unprecedented interaction, and conversations no longer have to rely around branded messages.

Facebook is catching on this trend, too. They’ve recently offered viewers three new ways to interact with their favourite TV shows, trying to compete with Twitter as being the go-to television social media. Whether or not these features pan out for companies is yet to be seen, but it could potentially further integrate traditional and social media into a single, indistinguishable whole.

Other media is almost certainly going to follow suit, with the availability of sharing and contributing to news articles online and augmented reality continuing to make strides. Marketers should think less in terms of “traditional” and “social,” instead viewing all media tools as complimentary tactics. The social world is here to stay and continues reinventing how we interact with the world around us. Those who ignore the shift will almost certainly be left behind.

Social Media is NOT a Numbers Game

Google Analytics, ROI, CTR, traffic to site and followership. We try by every means possible to measure our impact on social media but somehow forget that social media is a social interaction and not a measurable, predictable one. Simon Kemp, from We Are Social, recently said on stage that as marketers we too often focus on the ”media” in ”social media” and not enough on the ”social”.

Just as a friendship or any relationship we have, social media is a channel to create those kinds of interactions. As a business, you or your customer wants to know:

How much am I getting out of it?
How much does each post cost me?
How many customers or sales do I get out of this social media strategy?

Which as a business, don’t get me wrong, are fair questions to ask. But if I apply the social logic to them and compare them to a human interaction related question, would we ask ourselves the following in life?

How much money am I getting out of this friendship?
How much does each phone call or text or dinner with my friend cost me? Is it worth the investment?
How many new friends or gifts to I get out of this relationship? Do people like me more?

All of a sudden, doesn’t sound so right, does it? So then, the discussion continues, so what can we measure in social media and how do I know if my strategy or tactic is successful or not?

Followers do not mean Customers

Now, number of likes or followers or hearts are numbers that are often measured and used to see if your presence online is improving or not. Your followership can be an indicator of the level of interest your audience might have for what you are selling but their engagement is what will be the key to your success. Facebook offers an engagement rate in their analytics that can be of use but still has to be considered with other factors.

An example of that can be noted in a recent contract I had.

I was working with social media specialists in different countries. The company has a presence on Facebook and one of their community engagement specialist in France wanted to attract new customers with contests online. One of her first efforts brought in big with a Facebook contest that attracted over 1,000 participants. She thought that whatever she had done, worked, so tried to repeat the experience but following contests attracted an average of 300 participants. In that sense, were her efforts more successful the first time?

From a numbers perspective, the answer would be yes. Her first contest was more successful but from a social standpoint, my opinion is that she now knows that she has an average of 300 participants that will interact with her contests and online efforts which is a pretty good number. The ultimate goal is that an engaged community will eventually start using the company’s service on their own because of their engagement with the Facebook page.

So why so many participants the first time? Many factors can be accounted for. Maybe it was a good day, maybe she hit a peak time in France for shopping online, maybe the colours of her ad where enticing, maybe people had nothing to do and had time to participate, maybe exfoliating cream is a popular prize in France and maybe something else. It is important to remember that it is still a human being sitting in front of the screen and making a conscious decision of commenting or liking or sharing a post or not. We can influence that decision, but we cannot predict the outcome.

Quantity is not Quality

So what about content? There is a general belief that if we are able to put more content out there, we will eventually get someone to click on it. Right? Wrong!

Although content is important, you have to remember that quality remains a key factor. Scott Vetter of PROSAR, clearly explains the potential ”con” in not structuring your content properly. Check out his post: Is there too much ”con” in your content? And his take on this approach is dead on. I recently worked with a client that could not see past the number of keywords in the text or the number of content we were pushing out to their audience instead of focusing on the relevance of the keywords used and maximizing the content pieces to offer their customer a meaningful journey through their website.

Indeed, if we want to put that into numbers, even if you have more content out there, if it is not relevant, your bounce rate will still be high and your time on site will remain low as customers won’t find what they are looking for once they have clicked on this so-called ”content” that you published. Social media is a two-way street and no longer a one-way as traditional marketing used to be. It is all about having a conversation or creating a long-lasting relationship, which also require time and effort, just as a normal relationship with a real-life customer would.

And as for frequency, SocialBakers did a study about posting frequency that showed that posting more than 2 times per day would not necessarily help you increase your engagement rate on your Facebook page. And all articles indicate that your content has to be relevant to spark an interest. Keep that in mind.

Finally, remember that social media is about socializing. The great viral successes or popular companies online have often done their share of traditional marketing to build their brand recognition online and offline. Social media will remain an important channel for marketing in the future but has to be seen as a place to converse with your customers and new potential customers and create an interest for your company. No one knows what exactly makes a social success actually a success and each audience will have their own preferences which need to be tested, tried, retried, tweaked and changed again. Stay alert, listen in and see what your audience is telling you instead of trying to tell them what to do. And to understand all of that info, do not hesitate to ask your PROSAR agency about interpreting that feedback and having an expert help you answer all your questions!

Customer Service Is Social

Taking care of your customers is how you stay in business. Customer support lines, email accounts, and in-person offices give customers touch points to reach out and solve their problems. However, this has become increasingly insufficient to meet the demands of a socially connected world.

Twitter accounts and Facebook pages have become open forums for consumers to ask questions about your products— and complain about the service they receive. According to the Sprout Social Index, consumers keep turning to social media for customer support.

Unfortunately, most of their messages go unanswered. This lack of focus on social media based customer service costs US businesses an estimated $41 billion a year.

So what can you do to keep up?

1- Monitor Social Media

Tools such as Hootsweet or Tweetdeck allow you to set up custom-tailored streams that let you keep an eye on only tweets you want to see. Monitoring tools also have the advantage of sending emails when you receive a mention, meaning you don’t have to constantly check back your accounts and can spend more time working on your business.

At the very least, you should be checking your social media notifications. Most customers will directly message your property when they’re looking for answers. A daily check to see if you have any questions will ensure timely answers.

2- Dedicate Time to Reply

All the monitoring in the world won’t do anything if there’s nobody there to reply. Unless you have somebody manning the “phones”, so to speak, then your social presence remains a void. Depending on the size of your business, you might not need somebody full time. However, replying should be on somebody’s task list.

Preferably, you’ll want to implement a whole strategy that integrates social media into your pre-existing customer service processes.

 3- Remember It’s a Conversation

How many times have you solve a customer service issue with a single email? The answer is likely ‘never’. Once you reply to a customer’s question, you have to keep tabs on the string of messages to make sure your customer walks away satisfied. Once you receive a complaint, keep following up until the issue is solved, just like a normal customer service call.

For more information, check out the Sprout Social Index’ infographic on social customer care:


Top 3 Tips to Find a Great Social Media Manager

MillenialsWhen in need of a social media manager or community manager we often assume that if we hire a person born after 1990 that they should automatically be qualified for the job. I don’t mean this as a good or bad thing, but simply as an assumption that we make, myself included. Now that I am in charge of coaching and managing a junior team of community managers I realize that they need as much support as any other role within a company. To help you find the right fit for your team, here are a the top 3 tips to find a great social media manager, rookie or experienced.

When I started consulting in social media I realized that being familiar with the platforms and knowing how they work was not enough to truly help my clients build a strong online presence and maximize their business socially. I worked hard to improve my knowledge of each channel; the advantages and disadvantages of each, their main messaging, their focus and what kind of audience they target. I also improved my skills in content marketing and did a lot of tests to see what works. I looked at competitors in different industries to pull out best practices that could be applied in a variety of fields. Although I am not here to share my experience with you, here are a few pointers to take into account when looking at a resume.


Tip #1: Ask questions!

The best advice that I can give you is to ask questions. Although you might not know much about social media, ask your candidate about potential social media strategy for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Give them an initial case in which they need to explain to you how they will increase your engagement rate by 50%. Even if you may not know all the answers, you will be able to observe their reaction.

Answering-hard-questions-during-a-job-interviewAre they confident in their answers?

Are they stumbling over their words?

Are they rambling?

Do they seem to know what they are talking about?

Also, listen to their words and see if they are mentioning any previous projects and examples of how they implemented the approach they are proposing. My colleague from PROSAR, Jenn Jefferys, wrote a great article on how to hire an inbound marketer and what to look for. You can apply many of these tricks to your search for your next social media manager.

Tip #2: Check them out online!

The advantage of today’s social networks is that you can look up anyone online. Simply Google your next candidate and see what comes up. As a social media or future community manager, they should have started to build their online reputation with a LinkedIn profile, a topic driven Twitter account and even a blog. If they have a blog take a look at the articles and their style of writing and the level of language.

SM_PROSAR_-_findIs their written form grammatically correct?

Does the article have a good flow?

Are you captivated by it? Or bored?

And do they have any guest posts? Are they writing for another website? Or publishing on LinkedIn?

Another way to check them out is to take a closer look at their LinkedIn profile. Many profiles today have top skills that are endorsed by others, recommendations that are added to a profile and even the option to see one’s portfolio. Another way to help your search is to directly post your job opportunity on a network like LinkedIn. You will probably get a candidate that has an active profile and that looked you up online as well. It has been proven that a post on career-oriented social media generates more than 60% of referrals towards the homepage of your company.

Tip #3: Follow your channels!

Here’s some advice if you believe you have found a great social media manager and that they are the right fit for your business. Although you trust their resume, their credentials, and what you have seen online, it might be to your advantage to become a little more active online and on your own channels. Get involved in your own social media strategy. If you have an existing network then start following your company Twitter account, LinkedIn company page or Facebook business page. Without being a micro-manager, your engagement will help you understand the advice your social media manager is giving you and maybe learn a thing or two about your company, your customers, and what is being said about you online.

You are making an investment in social media as an advertising, brand awareness and distribution channel. Follow the content that is being published, the customer feedback that you are receiving and the increase in the engagement that you observe. Finally, like any great strategy, it’s always great to have an overview from an expert.PROSAR has worked with many companies to help them setup their social media efforts and coached their internal specialists to implement tactics that work. Why not guarantee social media success with results from day 1?

Fad, Fiction, or Fact?

The Internet is an ever-evolving place. Since the beginning of the week, Google has announced it’s rolling back use of Google+ and Instagram is boasting record ad sales projections. As a marketer, it can be difficult to know what to follow and what to write off as nothing more than empty promises and passing trends that’ll have no real impact on the media landscape.

Here are some tips on what to follow and what to take with a grain of salt.


Credit: iStock/Minerva Studio


Internet fads are fast moving targets that capture the wake of the Internet to the point of utter obsession, only to die out weeks if not days later. Unless you have the stars align and you can somehow seamlessly integrate yourself into the conversation, it’s best to leave these alone.

Usually, these are content based and spread around various channels. This can include obsessions over words (such as Taco Bell’s “Taco Bae”), hashtags, trending topics, or memes.

Sometimes, particularly new and niche social platforms fall under this category. Often, they vanish without a trace in a few years. However, if they end up being fact, becoming an early adopter of these networks can pay off long-term. Deciding to pursue these potential winners will depend on your strategy objectives and the resources you have available for social media.


Usually, when somebody makes a prediction, it’ll end up wrong. This is the nature of the Internet, where it’s simply too fickle to make any solid prediction of what will be the next big thing. A lot of buzz around new breakthroughs are nothing but hype, and should be treated accordingly.

Keeping an eye on predictions can help inform your social media strategy, however. Predictions are usually a result of some change in the media landscape. They’re not a signal to jump on the bandwagon, but predictions can help inform your strategy for potential new directions. While the predictions might not pan out, analyzing why those predictions were made and why they failed can give you a deeper insight in the market.


Where consumers are going and staying. As is often the case in marketing: you want to go where the people go. That goes double for social media, where its lifeblood is people using it.

When you start seeing proven statistics for longevity, for strong trends or stability in numbers, for consistent use… these are signs a phenomenon is here to stay. While it could vanish the next day— the Internet is fickle, after all— the likelihood of it staying (at least for a little while!) is high.

These are the channels and tactics you should incorporate into your social media strategy. When people are flocking to a network and consistently clicking on a certain type of content, it has somehow hit a sweet spot that people want and need.

While it can be useful to follow trends and hop on the bandwagons early, sticking with the facts means you get the most bang for your social media buck. Good luck separating fact from fiction or fad!

3 Important Considerations for Engagement

There are certain words related to social media that people tend to use without really knowing what they mean. Working within an international setting these days, I have come to realize that certain words can become unclear or lost in translation. ENGAGEMENT is such a term

We all want to engage our community, we want to increase our engagement online, or what about that engagement statistic on Facebook, what does that mean?

engage_cartoonAnd what does engagement represent?
  • Will it drive more sales?
  • Will it create a community of loyal customers?
  • Will they spread your brand and promotions like wildfire?

The short answer is probably not. But… why not?

Although I am a strong believer in social media, engagement and community, I have come to realize that other factors need to be considered in order to build the right strategy. Here is my list of critical components: Your Customer, Your Offer, Your Goal and Your Industry.


Your Customer

Let’s be fair, not every customer will be the ideal profile to engage online.

Although age is only a number, their Internet behavior will help you better position your engagement.

INTERNET-CANADAOverall in Canada, more than 35 million people have home access to the Internet. Out of that group, 86% of 18-34 year olds have a social profile and 62% of 35-54 years olds. Very significant numbers that should be considered in an overall strategy.
From a channel perspective, Facebook remains the strongest with 59% of users but an interesting study from Forum research shows that Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn can be better channels for your customer base depending on their education, location and finally, your own objectives.


Your Offer

I believe you can create engagement around any topic but the nature of your offer will help you determine how much effort it might take. For example, if your business is customer service driven it might be easier to start a dialogue with your customers online. But then you have to be prepared to foster engagement by offering a quick response and have content ready for a diversity of questions and feedback to nurture a dialogue.

feed---backAnother example could be that you have a new product and want to get feedback from your audience. In that case, you might offer a free sample, use a social network like Facebook to create a forum, or ask your audience to spread the word by sharing pics on Instagram.


Your Goal

if you are in the service business, you, no doubt, use your online network to share info about and promote your service. However you may not be seeing any return. And that is often becauase ther isn’t a clea objective to shape your strategy. Evaluate what you want from your network and how will you leverage the information you gain.Engaging for the sake of engaging will not serve your end goal. Here are a few options to start your thinking process:

You want an engaged community

  • You will need a dedicated Community Manager that is interacting with your community on a daily basis. This person will be building your community, increasing your followership, posting relevant content on a high frequency to determine what are your community’s preferences and pain points.
  • You will need to provide content to your community. Get your employees in the habit of sharing their daily activities, their best moments and customers highlights.
  • You will need to create a discussion. The concept of “build it and they will come” does not apply here. Work hand-in-hand with your Community Manager to find discussion topics, questions to ask and elements for which you would like feedback.
  • Remember, this will take time and effort to create but once it is built, it will become a powerful marketing tool!

You want to generate leads

  • You will need to provide incentives to your fans or followers: contests, prizes, free samples, rewards, etc. By enticing your community to register for something, you will be able to gather their email address and build a database of potential leads.
  • Your incentive can also be GREAT content. Think about sharing tips, how-tos on how to use your product, current news if you are in a news driven industry, education on using your service, etc.
  • As you grow your database, use your social media to continue to engage your customers. Once they are in the habit of coming to your page or account for contests, prizes and samples, continue to promote to them to generate referrals and eventual sales. For this purpose, you will need to adopt a CRM tool with automated marketing capabilities such as SharpSpring to maintain your newly built relationships.

Your Industry

Finally, take a look at the your industry. What are your competitors doing to create engagement with their users? Are there any best practices that you can leverage?

Important to note that this should not be the only element to consider. It is not because your competition is there that you should be as well. Take the time to really look into their content: are they doing any storytelling, or only sales driven promotions? And what is their level of engagement? Determine which channels will reach your target audience and fit your needs the most. If it seems overwhelming, an agency can help you answer this question and give you a full overview of your market.

The ABCs of Tone

“Tone” is an abstract but critical concept for marketing. Just like perfect pitch is rare in singing, perfect tone is equally rare. In general, tone refers to how you’re delivering your message to the audience, and it’s important to understand the importance of the right tone. In the end, tone is the reason people keep listening.

While it’s impossible to create a sure-fire formula for the perfect tone every time, there are considerations to improving your tone across all platforms. Just remember ABC and you’ll be well on your way to better marketing.


Image credit: kadirkaba / iStock / ThinkStock


As always, the more you know about your audience, the better your marketing message will be. Age, gender, relationship status, and more factors impact what tone will work best. However, do not focus on stereotypes and supposed best practice attempts (especially for groups such as millenials). Research your particular audience segment in depth and, preferably, read content generated by the target you want to hit. That will provide a better understanding of how to tailor your tone to your demographic.

Learn where your audience spends their time, what marketing messages they resonate best with, and the language the audience already uses. Once you do that, your message will go further.


Your own company’s brand guidelines should influence how you speak in advertising. Depending on the type of product and how you want to position yourself in the market, you could stick to terms like “informative” and “friendly,” or be more detailed about exact wording whenever you discuss the product or service. No matter what you do, keep it consistent throughout the marketing. It’s jarring to encounter wildly different tones within the same company, making consumers less likely to stick with your company.

Make sure your brand guidelines allow for the same general tone to translate across all channels you’re using.


Each media channel out there has its own norms and best practices for effective language. While companies often go for similar messaging but different wording between traditional media channels— shorter, snappy headlines for outdoor and entertainment value for radio— they very frequently they fall flat online.  How often have you seen a tweet copied from Facebook, or a blog post that looks like it comes straight out of a magazine? You should be adjusting your tone to the environment you’re putting it in, which includes how people use the channels.

Learn online media as much as you learn traditional media. You cannot simply copy/paste your traditional marketing tone on the web and expect it to work. Take the time to adjust, especially considering how much of your audience is online.

Remember A, B, C, and you’ll find tone is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

National Associations: 3 Ways to Engage Your Members

As the staff of any national association knows, it is important to keep members informed, motivated and remind them of the importance/relevance of the association they belong to. Engaged members are members who care. Importantly, this engagement can also support your organization’s continued relevance and value to its members.

Though many members of associations automatically become members by default, meaning they don’t need to be persuaded to join or to remain members, associations should nevertheless strive to continuously prove their value to members. All members should feel like the association they are a part of is invested in them and that they matter. Further, it is important to provide members, new and old, with easy ways to relate to your association and find their place within it. Read on for three ways to engage members with their association.



1)   Use Social Media to Create an Engaged Community

The power of simple, instant communication afforded by social media to bring people together is incredibly impressive. A key strength of social media is that it enables the creation of communities  united by a commonality, in this case, a shared membership to an association. Your national association should see social media as an opportunity to create a community of engaged members.

Maintaining your social media accounts, with the help of a sound strategy, of course, will also aid your federation in appearing (and being) more relevant and approachable.

Once you’ve (a) made your social media accounts easy to find and (b) maintained activity on these accounts, you open the door for members to engage with you directly in an easy and convenient manner. Make sure to respond in a timely manner to show members that their national association values their input and cares about their needs.


2) Produce Visual Content to Engage

Large associations can seem complex to outsiders — even to their own members!

Infographics are able to both clarify and disseminate sometimes complex information while engaging the reader. They do this by delivering valuable information such as statistics and facts in an organized, efficient, and visually engaging way. Breaking down the association’s key functions or highlighting achievements (for example), into simple, well-branded visuals can effectively present how the organization works and benefits its membership. Done properly, infographics have the remarkable ability to make potentially confusing or bland information nearly painless and even enjoyable to consume!

The advantages of infographics for national associations are clear: from highlighting membership benefits to sharing important news or history.

Unlike a blog article (which has its own list of virtues), infographics are more immediately immersive. A well-designed visual arrangement of information will immediately create an appealing environment for the reader and requires less of a mental investment than multiple paragraphs of words on a page.

There is a reason infographics have been trending for a long time: they are easy to share on social media. People like them because they are seen as low-effort/high-pay-off pieces to both consume and share. For that reason they are also a great way to extend your message to places it hasn’t been before. Strong brand awareness for any national association is an on-going concern.


3) De-clutter Your Website for More Engagement

Try visiting (nearly) any national association’s homepage — choose one you have never visited before. How do you feel? A little overwhelmed?

If you don’t know exactly where to look and what you want, you’ll find that navigating many association websites can be overwhelming. There is often so much depth and breadth of information in such a compact space, that it can be difficult to figure out where to begin. Imagine how someone must feel who knows little about your organization. Pairing things down and organizing information in a clean and logical fashion makes good sense.(Not everything needs to be immediately accessible from your homepage.).



By using social media to nurture a stronger sense of community, infographics to communicate important information clearly and appealingly, and an easy to use and informative website, you will be more successful at engaging your members than ever before.